Remember when you were a kid and you wanted something so badly, you did extra chores, you saved your allowance, you begged anyone who would listen, you tried to convince your parents that life would be so much better if you had that 'thing'… This year for Christmas my daughter didn’t want much- she could not think of what to put on her Christmas list. Her grandparents and aunt/uncles would call and ask what they could get her and I had to say I didn’t know. In speaking to many friends over the holidays they too experienced a similar phenomenon. Now we can all look around and easily find family’s that give their kids more than we do. I never thought I was over indulging them to any great extent- maybe I am though. Maybe we all have too much stuff.
Experts say there is a diminishing rate of return for the happiness felt from an average gift- for kids and adults alike. Where once, long ago we were happy for a much longer period of time with whatever was new to us, now it seems we're lucky if we get an hour – a day at most - and then it’s forgotten about and on we go to the next. Now much of the economy is in a tangle due to everyone continuing to buy and pursue that momentary happiness of the “new”. Really does it make us happy at all anymore or actually eventually just stressed out.
As an interior designer who has built a great business over the last 10 years, I am feeling great concern and confusion. For my business to continue, people need to continue to want- the next – the new- the better. Or is this going to be when the supply and demand chain is permanently reduced to actual need? At this point what is actual need- really?
As most families have over the last year- need to or not, we have cut down, reduced our spending, reduced going out to eat, cut out things that just months ago I thought I could never live without. You know what I’ve found- Happiness. Happiness in the simplicity, the reduced stress- less stuff- less responsibility- more time- quiet time- time sharing with friends and family. For the first time in 10 years I get so excited to go out to eat- because once again it’s special.
But where does this leave interior design? As someone who has been fastidiously studying ways to go green- reduce waste- protect our earth, I think it amounts to needing quality- not the temporary fix that fits in the budget but the choice with the best conscience. “Buy the best and cry once”, “Quality is a poor man’s gold” or just buy the best quality and timeless styling, take care of it and keep it forever- really love it! Interior furnishings are expensive and they should not be looked at as throw away. People will always need to move- adapt their house to their needs- be comfortable in their house especially in this stressful world. Maybe they will just start to WANT again- save for the best- dream for something so beautiful that they will wait for it.
The Daily Hunt
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